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Roundup: NASCAR stock cars to join trucks at Old Mosport

Published December 5, 2012

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has announced its major event schedule for 2013 and the really good news is that two of Canada’s finest racing series will be on the program next Labour Day weekend with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire stock cars and the Canadian Touring Car Series sedans will be sharing the legendary road circuit north of Bowmanville, formerly known as Mosport, with the Camping World trucks, which make up one-third of NASCAR’s top travelling series, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide stock cars being the other two.

The NASCAR Canada stock cars will actually be racing at Old Mosport three times next year. The Canadian Tire Series will headline the annual, traditional, Victoria Day SpeedFest on the road course that will also feature the Trans-Am Series, the Canadian Touring Cars and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada.

And in addition to Victoria Day in May and Labour Day in September, the stock cars will also race at the Old Mosport oval on June 22.

Other big events at Canadian Tire Mosport Park (heh, heh) next summer will be the American le Mans Series on July 18-21, making its last stop before unification with the Grand-American Road Racing Series the following year; the Canadian Historic Grand Prix on June 14-16 and the Canadian Superbike Doubleheader Weekend in August.

More information and tickets can be found at: www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com.

Meantime, the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada has announced a special ticket package for next June that will allow a person to purchase a reserved seat in a different grandstand for each day of the three-day event.

Quantities are limited, so if you want in you’d better get cracking. Ticket combinations come in three packages – gold, silver and bronze and are on sale for $485, $449 and $267.50, respectively. More information at 514 350-0000 or 1-855-790-1245. Or go to www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca.

And tickets for the 2013 Honda Indy Toronto will go on sale next Monday, Dec. 10. And remember, the event will now feature two official, fully-sanctioned IZOD IndyCar Series races, one with a standing start on Saturday and a second with a rolling start on Sunday. Each event will be full length, with full points and full prize money.

The promoters are making changes to some of the grandstands. They plan to build three new “super-structure” grandstands – one at Turn 10 (consolidating three grandstands), a taller structure at Turn 11, and a Turn 3 Grandstand that will see the addition of 15 rows.

According to a release, the switch to larger grandstands will result in an important additional benefit: greater track-side access for General Admission ticketholders and fans who might wander around looking for multiple viewpoints. Tickets start at $35 for General Admission. For more information, go to www.hondaindy.com.

Here’s a change of pace: The Canadian Motortsport Hall of Fame has launched a new, redesigned, website — www.cmhf.ca

This easy-to-navigate website details the history of motorsport in Canada and features biographies, including photos, of more than 150 inductees.

Said general manager Sid Priddle: “Thanks to the development efforts of highly respected freelance journalist (and Wheels Insider) Gary Grant, CMHF is able to bring you this new look. Gary is also responsible for the creation of our Facebook page.”

As is the case with any new project, the website is a work in progress. However, the hall hopes to keep the site informative and current.

And the CMHF is looking forward to your feedback. Just click on “contact” and submit any comments or questions.

Meantime, Andretti Autosport introduced its drivers lineup for 2013 on Wednesday and it’s the same as 2012 with two minor twists. Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will carry the No. 1 on his car instead of his familiar 28 (although “28” is included in the livery) and Marco Andretti will drive car No. 25, instead of 26. They have their reasons. James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, meantime, will continue aboard the No. 27 Go Daddy car.

Conor Daly, the son of ex-F1 and Indy car star Derek Daly who cut many of his racing teeth on the Ontario Formula Ford circuit driving for Brian Graham, will test for A.J. Foyt’s IndyCar team at Sebring soon. Daly had designs on a career in Formula One but the IndyCar test would indicate he’s going to Plan B. He’s smart. You have to be the absolute best and have all the connections and the money needed to get into F1. That’s a triple whammy and very few young athletes have all three. It’s why I really hoped Guelph’s Robert Wickens would have taken a crack at IndyCar a year ago when his path to F1 was blocked. Believe it or not, it might be too late now.

Here’s not very good news. The Star Mazda Series is for sale and whether a buyer can be found in time for the 2013 season is questionable. In a letter to drivers and sponsors, Star Mazda owner Gary Rodrigues said the series would fold if it can’t be sold.

It seems that it doesn’t only cost a fortune to go racing these days, it costs as much or more to build a platform for racing.

Here are the nominees for the Mario Andretti Trophy as the SPEED performer of the year:

2010 SPEED Performer of the Year Sebastian Vettel (F1), Fernando Alonso (F1), Brad Keselowski (NASCAR), Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP), Casey Stoner (MotoGP), Ryan Hunter-Reay (IndyCar), Antron Brown (NHRA), Kyle Larson (USAC), Sammy Swindell (WoO), Sebastien Loeb (World Rally), Andre Lotterer (WEC), Max Biaggi (World Superbike), Scott Pruett (Grand-Am), Donny Schatz (WoO), Josh Hayes (AMA Pro Superbike) and Ryan Villopoto (Supercross).

Andretti will present the trophy, a 100-pound sculpture created by bronze artist Elie Hazak, as part of a SPEED Center special on Jan. 27.

Any guesses who’ll win?

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